End users looking for durable, reliable stationary scanners to serve specific application requirements
While stationary scanners are deployed across verticals, the majority of
demand for this barcode hardware category is in retail and industrial and
Enterprise end users deploy handheld scanners across all facets of their
operations, internal and customer-facing, for a diverse range of applications
and use cases. While common requirements exist across verticals, tiers and
regions, unique needs and niche opportunities exist. Use environments and
target applications also heavily influence stationary scanner selection in
regards to the following:
- Scanning technology preferences - Retailers, merchants, B2C
operators with high-volume scanning requirements, bioptic scanners with rapid,
accurate reading capability are generally preferred. However, requirements for
imaging application support, including reading barcodes displayed on
customers' smartphone screens, auto form-fill, and similar, are influencing
demand for stationary imagers and hybrid solutions.
- Ruggedization - Enterprises that deploy stationary scanners in
adverse operating environments or in applications in which shocks and exposure
to dust, contaminants, and other harms are likely (such as
industrial/manufacturing and T&L) prefer ruggedized devices purpose-built to
withstand hard use.
- Connectivity - End users generally expect stationary scanners to
support multiple connectivity or communication protocols. Preferences for
specific types are dictated by application, operating environment, and
requirements for wireless communication.
Based on the leading requirements cited in our end-user survey, VDC sees
several key takeaways for stationary scanner vendors:
- Price leads in importance, but do not ignore ownership cost/TCO -
Price only ranks slightly higher in importance relative to TCO among end users
surveyed, indicating both factor heavily into stationary scanner selection.
The fact that TCO ranks closely behind price suggests that enterprises are
more likely to invest more upfront for quality, reliable hardware than gamble
on cheaper, lower-end hardware that ultimately may be more costly due to
service requirements, premature failure, or both.
- Price is still a highly important consideration - Stationary
scanner end users are price-conscious during the selection process
particularly in contrast to certain barcode hardware categories in which price
is a relatively minor factor. Accordingly, as vendors set prices and evaluate
target verticals, applications, and such, VDC recommends they consider
end-user perspectives carefully, particularly in the context of the
diminishing cost differential between laser- and imager-based units and the
respective functionality/benefit tradeoffs associated with each scanning
- Imaging applications adoption is on the rise - For users such as
reading barcodes from an electronic screen or display, imaging applications
are seeing rapidly growing adoption rates, particularly in retail. This is
becoming an important factor in end users' stationary scanner selection
processes. VDC expects this trend to continue as an increasingly broader range
of B2C enterprises deploy mobile barcode-based solutions for a variety of
customer-facing, mobile-based applications.
Other key results of VDC's Stationary Barcode Scanner end user survey are
discussed in the following report. The complete findings of this study are
presented in the accompanying Excel spreadsheet.
Stationary Scanner Ruggedization Preferences
End user preference for ruggedized scanners expected to increase due to application trends and selection criteria
Enterprise end users surveyed by VDC indicate a general preference for
non-ruggedized stationary scanners at present.
However, looking ahead to future stationary scanner investments, end users
indicate that they expect to increasingly deploy ruggedized scanners.
Increasing favor for ruggedized units is driven in part by trends in
stationary scanner usage and key product selection criteria, including the
- Increasing deployment of stationary scanners in adverse usage
environments, such as manufacturing shop floors, transportation hubs/DCs and
warehouse where ruggedization is a key requirement.
- Whereas Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is among the leading product
selection criteria cited by end users, some enterprises may evaluate
ruggedized models as a means to extend scanner lifecycles and avoid
potentially costly downtime due to repairs and/or replacement because of
breakage. However, more rugged models have a higher associated price point and
select end users may choose low-cost general purpose handheld scanners to
reduce upfront investment costs.
Tethered connectivity is preferred choice with stationary - but some end users are adopting wireless
100% of end user respondents indicate their stationary scanners are connected
to a host computer/network via a direct-wired connection - either a serial/USB
or Ethernet cable - which suggests that while wireless is increasing gaining
consideration, tethered connection remains a viable option for its
reliability, simplicity and value.
While cable connections remain by far the most common among stationary barcode
scanner end users, wireless connectivity is increasingly common, with 802.11
a/b/g and Bluetooth being cited by more than 50% of end users combined. As
availability and deployment of wireless networks becomes more common in key
stationary scanner use environments, wireless connectivity is expected to
become even more pervasive.
Whereas connectivity/communication is one of the top-rated product selection
criteria among end users (tied with ease of integration). VDC expects it is
likely that most enterprises will favor direct, wired connection except
when/where wireless connectivity is an absolute requirements, as tethered
connections provide greater reliability.
Key Vendor Takeaways:
- Focus on supporting multiple communication/connectivity protocols. Based
on VDC end user data, the average enterprise supports approximately two
different types of connectivity with their stationary barcode scanners.
- Tethered/direct-wired connections remain by far the most commonly used
protocol type, as enterprises favor its reliability and ease of use.
- Enterprises are open to investing in wireless-enabled stationary scanners,
but typically only when application or usage requirements dictate doing so.
However, by demonstrating increased wireless reliability or developing new
wireless scanner use-cases/applications, vendors may have the ability to shift
end user preferences towards wireless scanners.
Table of Contents
- Page 4 End users looking for curable, reliable stationary scanners to
serve specific application requirements
- Page 5 Steady growth expected as enterprises leverage barcode for a range
of specialized applications
Implications for Vendors
- Page 7 End users will continue to invest in stationary barcode scanners
for a range of mature and emerging applications
- Page 8 End users will continue to invest in stationary barcode scanners to
support a range of mature and emerging applications
Strategic End User Issues, Trends & Drivers
- Page 10 Stationary Barcode Scanners a Cirtical Solution Component -
Imvestment Seen Across all Tier Levels
- Page 11 Stationary Scanners a mission-critical component across verticals,
especially in Manufacturing & Retail
- Page 12 End user preference for ruggedized scanners expected to increase
due to application trends and selection criteria
- Page 13 Tethered connectivity is by far the preferred choice with
stationary - but some end users are adopting wireless
- Page 14 Laser scanners remain dominant, but imagers are growing in certain
applications and verticals
- Page 15 Weak usage of remote scanner management suggests vendors may need
to educate endu users
- Page 16 Operational improvement, cost savings and achieving compliance on
a number of dimensions is key
- Page 17 Requirements for track-and-trace, compliance and accurate,
reliable data capture drive investment
- Page 18 Investment driven by mission-critical applications in retail;
health care adoptiongrowing for vertical-specific uses
- Page 19 Commercial Services and Government leverage stationary scanners
across a range of customer-facing and employee-driven applications
- Page 20 Connectivity and Integration Ease are leading consideratins for
stationary scanners - but Price and TCO are top-of-mind as well
- Page 21 Leading considerations concern simplifying maintenance and
establishing centralized device control/troubleshooting
- Page 22 Stationary Scanners Selection Criteria: Importance vs. Satisfaction
- Page 23 The top 5 vendors accounted for over 70% of the overall global
market for stationary barcode scanners in 2011
LIST OF EXHIBITS
- Exhibit 1 Does your company use barcode technology in its operations?
- Exhibit 2 At what stage is your company in terms of using barcode
- Exhibit 3 How, if at all, are you personally involved with Barcode
Solutions at your organization?
- Exhibit 4 What is the principal business of your organization?
- Exhibit 5 What is your company's current installed base (in units) for the
following barcode hardware products?
- Exhibit 6 What percent of your company's Stationary Barcode Scanners &
Imagers are ruggedized? What do you expect that percentage to be in 2 years?
- Exhibit 7 What percent of your Stationary Barcode Scanners use the
following scanning technolgoies? What do you expect that percentage to be in 2
- Exhibit 8 How are your Stationary Point-of-Sale Barcode Scanner
deployments distributed by scanning technology? What do you expect that
percentage to be in 2 years?
- Exhibit 9 How are your organizatin's Stationary Barcode Scanners connected
to the host computer or network? (Select all that apply)
- Exhibit 10 Please rate the importance and your statisfaction of each of
the following factors when selecting Stationary Barcode Scanners.
- Exhibit 11 Do you use remote device management for your barcode scanners?
- Exhibit 12 Wat percentage of your organizations Stationary Barcode
Scanners are managed remotely?
- Exhibit 13 What percentage of your organizations Stationary Barcode
Scanners are managed remotely?
- Exhibit 14 In addition to barcoding, which of the following imaging
applications does your company suport? Which do you expect to support within
the next 2 years? (Select all that apply)
- Exhibit 15 From where did you get your imaging applications?
- Exhibit 16 Please approximate your organization's annual budget for
Barcode solutions fo rthe following years.
- Exhibit 17 How was your organization's 2011 barcode solutions budget
allocated by component category?
- Exhibit 18 How oftern does your company replace the following barcode
- Exhibit 19 What was the target Return on Invesstment (ROI) period that you
expected fdrom your Stationary Scanners? What was the actual ROI period?
- Exhibit 20 From which source(s) did your organizatin purchase your barcode
hardware dolutions? During the next 21 months, from which sources fo you palan
to purchase from?
- Exhibit 21 What were your organization's primary drivers for investing in
Barcode technologies? (Select all that apply)
- Exhibit 22 When evaluating Barcode Hardware vendors, what is the level of
importance associated with the following vendor selection criteria?
- Exhibit 23 Within your organization, where are decisions regarding barcode
supplier selectioin made? (Select all that apply)
- Exhibit 24 Please choose the title that best describes your position
- Exhibit 25 What were your organization's 2011 annual renenures?
- Exhibit 26 What is your current geographic loacation?